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Houthis detain employees of UN and US organizations in Yemen

Houthi security forces have detained 11 United Nations personnel in Yemen over the past three days. The UN is seeking the safe and unconditional release of the hostages as quickly as possible, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday (7).

Dujarric said the UN was very concerned about the developments and sought clarification from the Houthis on the reason for the detention of the Yemeni citizens.

The two women and nine men work for five different UN agencies and the United Nations emissary for Yemen.

“We are pursuing all available channels to ensure the safe and unconditional release of all of them as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.

“In a series of attacks, armed Houthi intelligence officers detained at least nine UN employees, three employees of the US-funded pro-democracy group National Democratic Institute (NDI), and three employees of a local human rights group,” three members of Yemen’s internationally recognized government told Reuters on Friday (7).

Intelligence officers from the Islamist group, which controls the capital Sanaa and much of the country’s north, raided employees’ homes and offices, confiscating phones and computers.

The internationally recognized government mainly controls parts of southern Yemen.

The National Democratic Institute did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for confirmation or comment.

A spokesperson for the Houthis did not immediately comment.

The Houthis, who are aligned with Iran, have attacked shipping in the Red Sea, drawing airstrikes from the United States and the United Kingdom.

The group has detained around 20 Yemeni employees of the US embassy in Sanaa over the past three years. The embassy suspended operations in 2014.

Source: CNN Brasil

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